Specialist classes Teaching and Learning News 2023




Junior Science

Foundation - Grade 2

In Foundation we have been learning what the different parts of the plants do. Students had so much fun learning about how a plant uses its leaves to catch the sunlight and turn it into its own food and how the green in a leaf is very important. Students used real green leaves to add green to the leaves in their work! They also used water colours to show how a plant sucks water from the soil and transports it to the rest of the plant.

In Grades 1 and 2 we have continued work on life cycles and the students became egg detectives! They had to look at different eggs, and the clues around the egg to match it with the right animal. We have discussed that not all eggs have hard shells, and how they can come in all different shapes and sizes.


Foundation grades have been conducting their plant growth experiments and using their Bean Plant Diary to make observations and share their thinking about how the seeds have grown. Students noticed that our Plant 4 that we did not give sunlight has not grown as much as Plant 1 that has all of its needs met. It is also a lighter colour and not a bright green like Plant 1.


In Grades 1 and 2 our plants have been growing as well! Students are becoming familiar with the process of conducting a scientific experiment and have made hypotheses, written methods, developed equipment lists and drawn observations. Plant 1 (that has all of its needs met) and Plant 4 (that has all of its needs but does not have much space), have grown and changed a lot since we planted them. Students noticed Plant 4 has started to grow sideways instead of straight up due to the rocks surrounding it! We have been taking photographs every few days make comparisons at the end of our experiment.



Foundation students have continued learning about Living Things and their Needs. We have looked at the different parts of plants and their functions. We also planted the seeds in our Plant Growth Experiment! Next, we will be testing how these seeds grow when their needs are and are not met. We are excited to see what happens over the next few weeks.

In Grades 1 and 2 we have been looking at and comparing the different life cycles of living things as part of our Living things Grow and Change unit. We also planted the seeds for our Plant Growth Experiment and are looking forward to observing how a seed grows and changes over time.


In Foundation students have started exploring Biological Science focusing on Living Things and their needs. We learned how to differentiate between living and non-living things. So far, we have focused on animal needs and students enjoyed drawing an animal of their own choice and what it needs in order to survive. 


Grade 1 and 2 students also started a unit on Living Things, focusing on how they grow and change. We learned how to differentiate between living, non-living and once lived things. We looked at the human life cycle and the characteristics of each stage. Students then worked to identify how they have grown and changed since being a baby.




This week Science has been all about exploring materials and their properties for Foundation students. They explored which materials are waterproof and created their own little monster using a material of their choice. Year 1 and 2 students used their hands to change the shape of a material by bending and stretching. We also observed that using heat can change the shape of a material too! Year 3 students loved getting messy and created oobleck to explore how a material can have solid and liquid properties at the same time. This was so much fun!



This week Foundation students have been consolidating their learning of sorting objects based on the materials they made out of and identifying the properties of an everyday object. We have expanded our vocabulary to now describe material as flexible and rigid.


Grade 1 students explored new ways to change everyday materials which included twisting, stretching and bending!


Grade 2 students had a blast making slime to deepen their understanding of combining and mixing everyday materials to change them. Our first attempt wasn’t successful, being a scientist we will reflect and try again next week!



Foundation students have been building boats with different materials and testing them to see if they will float or sink.


Grade 1 students experimented with mixing ingredients and made playdough to explore the effects of what happens when we mix everyday materials together.


Grade 2 students' highlight of the week was making slime. Students experimented how some changes cannot be reversed and enjoyed stretching and squeezing the final product.


Term 2 has started with lots of excitement about our new Science units.


Foundation students will be exploring Marvellous Materials and their Properties. Students enjoyed finding things made from different materials around our school.


Year 1 and 2 students divided into their new unit about ‘Everyday Materials can Change’. Students explored a mystery bag filled with different items and how we can change them.



This fortnight we have been working hard to complete our units of work. Foundation students completed weather wheels to demonstrate what the weather is today, how we dress for each weather condition and what are the best activities to complete during each weather condition. Sunny was the most popular weather condition! Year 1 and 2 students completed their unit on The Changes in the Sky and Landscape by making it rain! After lots of rain this week, we discussed how it rains and how the sky and landscape change when it does rain.



This fortnight in Science we have been making it rain with the Foundation students. Students used shaving cream and blue dyed water to demonstrate how clouds hold water and how it rains. We created rainbow skittles with Year 1 and 2 students, exploring how warm weather (sun) and rain can create a rainbow in the sky. Year 3 students have been exploring the power of the sun and how we need to protect ourselves from ultraviolet light. We explored how different materials can help keep our skin safe from UV light using special beads that change colour in UV light.



It has been another jam packed fortnight of Science!


Foundation: We have been exploring the weather and seasons. We have dressed ourselves to match a weather forecast and painted trees to demonstrate how they can each season.


Year 1 and 2: During our Sky and Landscape unit, students have created a model to demonstrate the phases of the moon and even created and named their own constellation!


In Science this week, students have experienced hands on tasks and made connections with their topic of the term. Foundation students used fans to test what blows in the wind! We noticed that heavy items don’t blow in the wind. Grade 1 students made night and day sky sensory bags. It was lots of fun exploring what we see in the sky! Grade 2 students explored the effects of droughts and floods. We tried to make sandcastles with dry sand and then flooded them with water.


Senior Science

Grades 3-6

In Grades 3 and 4, students have been using their researching skills to find information about a living thing of their choice. Students have now begun designing their own posters to present to their peers in a few weeks.

In Grades 5 and 6, students presented their completed animals and discussed each of the adaptations they included in their designs. Students have now begun looking at the role mimicry plays in the survival of living things.


In Grades 3 and 4, students have been researching and completing their animal research task. They have worked collaboratively with partners and used digital technologies to assist them. In Grades 5 and 6, students have finished designing their posters of an animal they have created. They have included their animals name, a labelled diagram and behavioural and structural adaptations. Students will present their animals next week.


In Grades 3 and 4, students have started their new unit about the characteristics and features of living things. Students have started exploring what makes something living, what an animal is and creating their own wonderings about a living thing of their choice. 


In Grades 5 and 6, students have started their new unit about how living things adapt to survive in their environment. They have inquired and researched different structural features and adaptations of animals as well as different extreme environments.


In Grades 3 and 4, students have been exploring how to classify and group animals based on their features. They have investigated what vertebrates and invertebrates are. Students worked cooperatively in pairs to use digital technologies to research different animals and recorded this information in their research booklets.

In Grades 5 and 6, students have been applying their knowledge of structural and behavioural adaptations of living things to design their own animal for a specific environment of their choice.


Grade 3 and 4 students had to resist the urge to eat a chocolate chip while exploring changing a solid to a liquid and experimenting if we can reverse the change! We melted chocolate and then tried to solidify it again.



Grade 3, 4, 5 & 6, students prepared their solids and liquids posters and practised their presentation skills. Students used the experience to showcase all the knowledge and skills they have learnt throughout the term.


Year 3 and 4 students were very excited that their new unit is all about chemistry, exploring solids and liquids.


Year 5 and 6 students are learning all about the states of matter and exploring solids, liquids and gasses! They even attempted to weigh a gas.


Looking forward to a term filled with learning and experimenting!




Year 3:


Year 3 students have now completed their unit of work on the Earth’s Rotation and Revolution by making a model of the sun, Earth and moon to demonstrate what the Earth is doing during a rotation (spinning on its axis) and a revolution (an orbit around the sun). Looking forward to having more FUN in Science next term! Happy holidays : )


We have been hands-on in measuring and creating models of the moon and Earth, played an interactive game to explore the rotation of the Earth and used basketballs and tennis balls to demonstrate the orbit of the moon!


Grade 3 students have been exploring the earth's rotation and the sun’s energy. We tested what happens with cups of ice in direct sunlight and in the shade. We then made globes using balloons and demonstrated how the earth rotation causes daylight and sunlight. Students had such interesting questions!



We have started our first science classes with a BANG! The students have been so curious to explore all things science. We are learning how to become scientists by asking questions, making observations, forming a hypothesis, conducting an experiment and analysing the results. It has been so much fun to explore the world around us and begin to learn how things work. We can’t wait for more ‘explosions’!




Senior Science

Grade 3, 4, 5 & 6, students prepared their solids and liquids posters and practised their presentation skills. Students used the experience to showcase all the knowledge and skills they have learnt throughout the term.


Grade 5 and 6 students have been exploring solids, liquids and gases. Students participated in a freezing point demonstration to observe the point we need to reach to freeze matter.


Grade 5 and 6 students are continuing their learning on solids, liquids and gases. They sorted everyday objects into the correct category by using the properties of matter to decide where each item belongs.


Science- Senior This fortnight Year 5 and 6 students have been creating mobiles of the solar system. Students have created and ordered the planets in our solar system and made a creative mobile to demonstrate their distance from the sun.


Year 4 students have been exploring and comparing the size of the moon and the Earth. Students were surprised to discover the moon is only a quarter of the size of the Earth. Students created models of the Earth and moon to scale e.g. a 1 cm (diameter) moon is equal to a 4 cm (diameter) Earth.


Science in the senior school has been all about the solar system. Students have been learning the order of the planets from the sun using a funny mnemonic to help them remember the order.

“My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos!’ Answer: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Challenge: Can you create your own mnemonic to remember the order of the planets?

Physical Education

Students have been enjoying participating in a wide variety of sports and skills this term. Grade 2s have begun practising for next year Athletics day whilst the Grade 5 & 6 have focused on developing positive leadership skills. Foundation students continue to work on their Fundamental movement skills whilst grade 3 & 4s have enjoyed learning the skills and rules involved in tag rugby.

This week students from grade 4-6 had the opportunity to meet South East Phoenix Basketball players. All students had the opportunity to ask questions and get a class photo whilst our grade 5 & 6 selected Basketball Gala students had the chance to play off in a match with all other students observing and cheering on.


A range of classes are having the opportunity to participate in a PE session run by SEDA Strathmore. Students are practicing the skills involved in AFL whilst learning off a range of SEDA helpers. Students are enjoying the experience and are having lots of fun with this opportunity.



In Physical Education, students have started new topics and sports for Term 2. Topics include netball, gaelic, soccer and movement skills, where year levels have been practising the specific skills and concepts required. Students 9 years old and above have had the opportunity to trial for the upcoming Cross Country Event including 2km and 3km runs. Grade 5 & 6 students are beginning to prepare for their upcoming Winter Gala Day, training in football, tee-ball and netball.





Students have enjoyed participating in a variety of activities and events this Term.

● Students from the Grade 3-6 cohort participated in their Athletics Carnival. Unfortunately due to time, the 400m event did not compete on the day however this week the selected students had the opportunity to participate in the event at school.

● Selected Grade 5/6 students participated in their Summer Gala Day this week, playing against other schools in one of the following sports: Hot Shots, Soccer or Cricket.

● Grade 5/6 students also had the opportunity to work with Westgate Basketball during PE sessions in preparations of a selected Basketball Gala Day in Term 4. Students enjoyed having the opportunity to learn off others currently playing the sport.

● This Term we held a free 4 week after school cricket program for students grade 1-4. The program was hosted by Cricket Blast Australia providing a range of cricket activities whilst students also received free uniform to wear during the program.



Grade 5 & 6 have enjoyed participating in a 3 week basketball program run by Westgate Basketball. Students have had the opportunity to learn off others in preparation for a Basketball Gala Day Round Robin in Term 4.


Cricket Blast Program The four week cricket Blast Program has come to an end. Students loved participating in the sport with a range of students in different classes.



Students enjoyed participating in their Grade 3-6 Athletics Carnival. Avondale Primary was super proud of all the students and teacher efforts throughout the day.




After being successful in gaining a grant for Term 1. We have been able to gain the opportunity to have Westgate Basketball coaches run lessons for 3 weeks with our grade 5 & 6 students in preparation for a Basketball Gala Day held towards the end of the year. We were also able to use the rest of the grant money to cover the cost of a range of equipment including new basketballs for the whole school to use during PE and lunch/recess time.




Grade 1-4 students are continuing to enjoy participating in their 4-week afterschool cricket program. Students are looking great in their uniform and enjoying the new experience.


Grade 3-6 students have been preparing for their upcoming Athletics Day Carnival on Thursday 2nd March. Students have had the opportunity to practice all the events involved on the day, preparing them for the best opportunity for success. They are super excited to spend the day away from school, performing alongside students of the same age and participating in a range of events. Grade 5-6 students have started training for their upcoming Summer Gala Day. Students have had the opportunity to participate and learn new skills while playing sports including soccer, cricket and Hot Shot Tennis.



This week Grade 1-4 students have the opportunity to participate in a 4 week after school Cricket Blast Program. All registered students will receive a FREE hat and polo with their name on the back. Students are very excited and I can't wait to share photos in the upcoming weeks.




All students enjoyed the first week of PE refreshing and learning the rules, routines and expectations. Students participated in a range of modified activities and warm up type games. This week Grade 3-6 students have begun practicing for their upcoming Athletics Carnival that will occur on March 2nd Thursday. Grade 3-4 students had the opportunity to listen to Sebastion from Cricket Victoria(pictured) this week regarding an opportunity to participate in an afterschool school program for 4 weeks 3.30-4.30 starting on the 23rd of February. This is a great opportunity for the Grade 3-4 students in preparation for their Cricket Gala Day in Term 4.


Visual Arts

Visual Arts

This week in Visual Arts, Foundation students looked at different Australian animals. Foundation A quickly recognised the echidna, Foundation B enjoyed making their jumping kangaroo and Foundation C loved making their cuddly koala.

All these animals were constructed using a paper plate and coloured card for the legs, head and other special features. Instead of using paint brushes, we used sponges to paint our paper plate; as we wanted to add texture to the body of our animal. When we finished painting, we cut the head, legs and other features using a template.

We had lots of fun this week.



This week in Visual Arts, students in grade 2 have been very engaged in their Aboriginal dot painting learning. Students enjoyed using the tip of different sized paint brushes to create their dots, some used bottle tops to stamp some decorative large dots in their paintings. The focus for these young artists was to create patterns with colours. 

We can’t wait to share our beautiful work with you in the Art Show at the End of Year Celebration Event.


This fortnight in Visual Arts, grade 4 students finished their papier mache ice cream. After spending weeks of painting each section, we finally got to the fun part – the topping. Everyone had so much fun adding their favourite toppings, such as, sprinkles, choc-chip, salt rocks for the salted caramel flavour, chocolate flake, chocolate syrup and marshmallows. Wow! They look so, so, so amazing, realistic and yummy to eat.



In Visual Arts this week, the Grade 4s added papier-mache to their ice cream frames. The art room was bursting with excitement and laughter as students dipped the paper into the cold, slimy glue. The fun part was when we had to smooth each layer -Oh! so slimy. Can’t wait till next week when we start painting them.





In Visual Arts, students in Grade 4, started making an ice-cream sculpture. We first looked at the works of American sculptor Claes Oldenburg, discussing one of his well-known large installations, ‘Dropped Cone.’ Students spent time scrunching newspaper into ball shapes to make ice cream scoops. Each ice-cream scoop was secured with masking tape before taping a cardboard cone. Students had so much fun scrunching newspaper into ball shapes and were surprised how easy it was to use masking tape.



Visual Arts Students in grades 5 and 6 have been working on their Identity silhouette portraits. Students explored shading techniques to add depth to their images as well as overlapping images. Backgrounds were shaded in the material of their choice. Some chose to use pencils, soft pastel or watercolour paints. They look amazing!



This fortnight in Visual Arts, students have been working on their Inquiry themed project. Grade 3 and 4 students have been busy finishing their collages while some grade 3s have painted their fruit or vegetable sculpture. Senior students in grade 5 and 6 continued on their Identity silhouette portraits, sketching images of what makes them who they are. During class discussions, students noticed how everyone has different interests, hobbies, strengths and cultural backgrounds which makes us all unique. Can’t wait to see the final product!



This fortnight in Visual Arts, the grade 3s have been planning and prepping their next project. Using this term Inquiry topic ‘The Game of Life’ as a springboard, we have been looking at healthy food. Students had to choose a fruit or vegetable to create as a 2D or 3D art piece. Here are a few snaps of our progress so far. They are going to look fabulous when they are finished.


Personal and Social Learning

This week in Visual Arts the Grade 4s finished working on their warm and cool colour picture. We first sketched a picture and then ruled straight lines through the page. We discussed and listed warm and cool colours. Using the colour wheel helped with some of the difficult shades. Next we shaded the picture in warm or cool colours and used the alternative colour scheme to shade the background. The best part of this project was when we critiqued the artworks. There was such a positive buzz in the room as students discussed the artworks and complemented each other on their pieces. It was so lovely hearing students critique their peers in a respectful and constructive manner.



Routines for Success


Last week in Visual Arts, students in middle and senior school brainstormed a series of weekly routines for the Art Room. These routines are based on our school valuesrespect, being a learner and responsibility. Our Routines to Success range from table jobs to keeping our sink clean and tidy. Ms Portelli’s job was really hard because she had to pick the common responses from each grade and make a poster. These posters remind everyone of how to keep our Art Room neat and tidy.



Performing Arts

Performing Arts


Performing Arts

What a fabulous couple of weeks we have had incorporating all of the elements of dance into creative dance routines. We are really getting into the groove!



Students have been fostering their creative skills by engaging in dance creation and performance in the coming weeks. We will continue to study various styles of dance and incorporate a range of elements of dance into our own choreographed routines.



This term we are familiarizing ourselves with the guitar and learning the technical descriptive attributes of this versatile instrument. The students have already demonstrated a keen interest to learn some Country and Western tunes. Here’s to our musical maestros learning to play the guitar!


Performing Arts Drama, miming and role play has been the focus of the last two weeks. The students are learning to use props to enhance their acting skills and add meaning to their performance. Lights, camera, action!



Students have returned to Performing Arts with zest and enthusiasm. This term we are focusing on dance and drama. We have started to demonstrate mime, acting and performing in front of peers in a class audience situation. The children in Grade 1 and 2 have been expressing various emotions and feelings this week in role play scenarios and the students in Foundation have acted out ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar.’

Routines for Success

This week the students from Foundation through to grade 2 tapped their way through the Performing Arts school rules with drumsticks, chant and music. What fun we had setting ourselves up for a term of Performing Arts success!



Over the past few weeks in Italian students have been focusing on a variety of cultural aspects.

This week foundation students have just completed their topic of ‘La Macchinetta Rossa’ (The Little Red Car), where they made their own car and engaged in a trip around Italy where they learned about different landmarks and cities.

Students in Grade 5&6, presented their role plays where they practiced ordering at café and also presented their Made in Italy project where they researched different Italian Brands.


In Italian this week and next we will be completing our topics for the term.


Foundation students are focusing on numeracy and read the Italian version of ‘One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab’ counting the legs of each animal in Italian.


Grade 2 students performed their Juice Bar role play story ‘Succhi di Frutta’ where they designed a menu and character from the story and practised buying and selling fruit juices.


In grade 5/6 students are completing their final task for the unit ‘Le Belle Arti’ (the beautiful arts) where they have studied the works of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, creating a self-portrait out of fruits and writing a description of their design in Italian.



Students in Grade 4 have been learning about countries and the articulation of ethnicities this term. To explore the different cultures within our school, students have drawn their cultural flags where they have introduced their culture and a way of saying hello. This has created a beautiful display for the Italian room and is a reminder of the importance of celebrating all cultures and languages.



Personal and Social Learning


Students contributed their drawing skills to assist in developing a bilingual display poster of the Zones of Regulation to which is now displayed in the Italian room for reference.



Routines for Success

Students began the first two weeks of Italian and enjoyed class activities and games where they were able to revise their vocabulary whilst getting to know their new classmates. Foundation students launched into the unit of ‘Ecco Pinocchio’ where they will learn about greetings and parts of the body. With the Venice Carnival (Carnevale) approaching, students in grade 2 have begun to create masks, whilst students in grade 3 have been designing puppets of Carnevale characters which they will use to act out a short play in Italian in the spirit of the celebration.